Kids these days!
How many times have you heard this statement in your lifetime? I remember adults talking about my own generation, Generation X, when I was growing up and going to high school in the 1980’s. All we did was watch MTV and play Atari video games. We were doomed, we were good for nothing, we stared at screens all day and were not developing the all important work ethic. I would like to think we turned out okay…
Lately I have been talking about kids these days at Dublin School. If you look anywhere in the media you will see images of kids staring at their phones, taking selfies, and looking bored or anxious (see the staged cover photo for this blog). The reality I am finding here is that kids at Dublin these days amaze me. Now, to be fair, some of our kids are just starting out and they are only beginning to experience and contribute to the culture of the school. It can sometimes take more than a year for the light bulbs to go off, but wow, when they do it seems like the high beams come on in full force!
At two of our recent receptions I talked about what a typical day can look like for a Dublin student. Things often start out at 7:30 with a run to Lehmann House for a quick breakfast before heading to Morning Meeting in the new Louise Shonk Kelly Recital Hall. They may get up to make an announcement or listen to a senior presentation before heading out for a full seven-period day of classes. We generously provide about fifteen minutes to completely change gears so they can get ready for robotics, theater, or their afternoon sport. Many drive to the local mountain to ski before getting back to dinner around 6 pm. Almost a third of our students have after dinner arts blocks for dance or choir before getting to study hall at 7:30 to hit their big pile of homework.
This schedule does not even include Work Gang, time for club meetings, field trips, outside speakers, student government, weekend activities, away games, affinity group meetings, saving the world, and on and on. I do not know about you, but by the time I get home for dinner after a 10-12 hour day I am exhausted and ready to watch MTV…I mean Netflix! I do not know how these kids do it. They also find time to take care of one another and build life-long friendships. They are artists, intellectuals, athletes, friends, children, activists, leaders, supporters, and citizens of the world.
If this is what all kids are like these days we are in for a good ride!